There can be too much of a good thing.
Cities in Italy tend to have their own style of pizza. Naples is known as the birthplace of the margherita–– mozzarella, tomato sauce, and a few leaves of basil on a characteristic slightly chewy, foldable crust. Rome’s pizza by the slice (often paid for by weight) is covered with tempting toppings like artichoke hearts and baked on large trays. Spontini in Milan, and a few other great pizza places, serves massive triangular slices of tall, fluffy crust and full slices of prosciutto and cheese. Pescara is famous for large round pizzette, baked on black metal trays that look stretched out muffin tins. The Trieste beach concession, with its oily and crunchy crust is just one example of where you can get sublime pizzette. The other is right around the corner from my apartment.
On the outside, Pizza express looks like just another pizza delivery place on Viale Bovio. The English name, the drawing of a guy on a moped, the small storefront with a few stools and small tables, are just some of the telltale signs. Pescara is full of them. But, unlike many places in the neighborhood, Pizza Express is the only one with the characteristic Pescara trays, so I tried them first.
And, I keep on going back. The crust is crunchy, but not as oily as other pizzette in town. Biting into it, you can tell that most of the oil comes from the fresh mozzarella melted on top. Artichoke hearts, margherita, white with sausage, and a dozen other varieties of pizzette, can be made by request in a just a few minutes––unless you get there too late.
Tullio, the owner and his wife only make a certain amount of pizza dough each day. And, Tullio only uses his own dough and it has to be fresh. He never freezes it for emergencies. In over 25 years of making pizza, he’s decided that quality and repeat customers are better than quantity. The siren’s call I hear every time I walk by is proof that he’s right.
- Joshua Lawrence
For those of you reading this on Facebook or elsewhere, it was first published on carbonara.wordpress.com